Manjistha is an Ayurvedic bitter and astringent herb that pacifies Kapha and Pitta dosha. It has been used traditionally for centuries due to its effectiveness in cleansing and purifying the blood1 and the circulatory system.2 There is a variety of ways to take Manjistha including Manjistha Tea, called Phant, and Manjistha decoction. While scrolling through the article, don’t forget to check out the section on Manjistha contraindications and Manjistha side effects.
Manjistha is truly a fascinating herb that purifies the lymphatic system as well as the blood. Keep reading to learn how it cleanses toxins from the body and improves immunity, plus how to take it. Here’s what we’ll cover.
Ayurvedic Properties Of Manjistha
Manjistha In The Ancient Ayurvedic Texts
Manjistha For Kapha Dosha, Cleansing And Purifying
How To Take Manjistha (Ayurvedic Formulations)
How To Make Manjistha Tea At Home
Manjistha Decoction (Kwath)
Manjistha Tea Benefits
Manjistha Side Effects
Manjistha Contraindications, Safety + Precautions
Manjistha possesses three tastes: madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter), and kashaya (astringent). It is heavy (guru) in nature, which gives it an earthy essence (soma/cooling property). It has a pungent post-digestive effect and is hot in potency, which makes it fiery or heating (agneya) at the same time. This unique quality of Manjistha, having two contrasting properties of soma (cooling) and agni (heating) is quite rare in Ayurvedic herbs.
By virtue of these three rasas or tastes, it pacifies Pitta and is used to help treat health conditions arising out of an imbalance of Pitta dosha and rakta (blood tissue). By virtue of its ushna (heating) potency, it has the ability to penetrate deeper into the tissue level. It is able to bind and safely remove ama, amavisha (endogenous toxins), and garavisha (xenobiotics/exogenous toxins).
These toxins are formed due to environmental factors and Pitta imbalance. Manjistha removes them from the body without aggravating Pitta. It heals the damage caused due to accumulation of toxins. The guru (heavy) property and madhura (sweet) rasa of Manjistha, which are the soma-rich properties of the herb, allow it to soak up the toxins and neutralize them.3
This Ayurvedic herb has been described in all three revered texts of Ayurveda, together called the ‘Brihat Trayis’. These include the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtanga Hridaya by Vagbhata.
Ayurvedic master Charaka categorized Manjistha asvarnya (one that improves the complexion), jvarahara (relieves fever), vishaghna (removes toxins).4 Ayurvedic master Sushruta mentioned it under the ‘Priyanguadi’ group of herbs which help in wound healing and joining of fractured bones.5 Ayurvedic master Sushruta further mentioned it as pittasamsamana, which pacifies Pitta.5
Vagbhata mentioned it under Priyanguadigroup of herbs. All the ancient texts have delineated it as useful in improving the color and complexion of the skin. It is well known as a rakta shodhak (blood purifier).6 The blood purifying property of Manjistha can be attributed to its ability to calm and balance Pitta dosha (pittasamana).
PLEASE NOTE: The ancient Ayurvedic texts spoke highly of pure, classical Manjisthadi Oil. The texts say, “One who massages their face with it regularly for 7 consecutive nights, gets skin with a glow that's reminiscent of the attractive radiance of gold!”
Based on the recipe of this ancient oil formulation, we’ve created our own version for modern-day use: iYURA Manjish Glow Elixir. This night-time facial massage oil enhances complexion, gives a clear look, illumines the face with a deep, healthy glow – and is 100% natural made from Ayurvedic herbs and ingredients, including Manjistha or Indian Madder. Read more about it here:
In today’s fast-paced digital and media-centric culture, we are getting increasingly disconnected from the very source (nature) that can heal us, balance our emotions, and awaken our consciousness. Even if we are careful at consuming a clean and pure diet, we are still exposed to environmental and chemical aggressors. This leads to the accumulation of toxins in our bodies, which is very difficult to remove and may lead to various disorders.
Ayurveda considers Manjistha as one of the best cleansing and purifying herbs. Manjistha is known to be effective in dealing with imbalanced Kapha dosha, which can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginess, and more.
A lethargic and sluggish body is an issue, increasingly taking a toll on our health. If left untreated, an imbalance of Kapha dosha may lead to the following health issues.
The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance the Kapha dosha, and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha congestion.
READ MORE: Ayurvedic Oil: Everything You Need To Know | 5 Ayurvedic Home Spa Remedies For Dry Chapped Skin | Easy 4 Step Ayurvedic Weight Loss Plan + Home Remedies For Over Weight | Can Triphala Cause Diarrhea?
Manjistha is an important ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations and preparations. Manjistha on its own can be used as Manjistha powder, Mahamanjisthadi kvatha (decoction), Manjistha arka (tincture) or Manjistha phanta (hot infusion), otherwise known as Manjistha tea.
The most commonly used part of Manjistha is its roots. It can be to make a tea or tincture, in a powdered form or as a capsule.
Keep reading to learn how to prepare Manjistha tea and how it benefits your body. Before that, it is necessary to know that the ancient Ayurvedic texts mention five pharmaceutical processes for formulations. They are Swaras (juice), Kalka (paste), Shrita / kwath (decoction), Shita (cold infusion), Phant (hot infusion).7
Manjistha Decoction (Shrita / Kwath)
A present-day tea preparation can be related to shrita/kwath (decoction) or Phant (hot infusion) preparation as mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts.
A decoction is a concentrated liquor resulting from heating and boiling a substance, especially an herbal preparation. In the process the essence of the herb is extracted into the liquid used.
Let’s see how to make a decoction.
According to Sharangdhar Samhita, a classical Ayurvedic text, the process of Kwath preparation is as follows.
Use one part of coarse powder of the herb, boiled with 16 parts of water in a vessel without a lid. Provide uniform heat and boil until one eighth part remains. The mixture is then strained with a cloth and taken as Kwath.8
Manjistha Tea Or Hot Infusion (Phant)
Phant or hot infusion is a drink made by placing the herb into a hot liquid (such as hot water) and infused. Infusions are the most popular method of preparing teas and tisanes. Tisanes are actually herbal infusions or decoctions made from a plant other than Camellia sinensis, traditional tea leaves. Tisanes are caffeine free and can be served hot or cold. Herbal teas actually have a long history, dating back to ancient China and Egypt, where tisanes were drunk for both enjoyment and medicinal purposes.
Let’s have a look at how these herbal hot infusions (Phant) are prepared.
This tea or herbal tea preparation is also called brewing and typically involves:
Manjistha can be used both in decoction form or infusion form. It also has great benefits when massaged on facial skin.
Based on the traditional, ancient formulation of Manjisthadi Oil, iYURA has strictly followed the cooking methods and minimally adapted the recipe (to ensure no endangered herbs are used, and to comply with FDA regulations) to create Manjish Glow Elixir. Find out more about this face oil here.
At first, use the infusion method.
200 ml water
1/4 tsp Manjistha powder
Honey, to taste
Boil 200 ml of water in a saucepan.
Pour the boiled water into a cup.
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Manjistha powder and stir until dissolved, allowing the herb to steep in the water. Strain and add one half or one teaspoon of honey since the powder gives the tea a bitter taste. Stir well before you sip!
This hot infusion of Manjistha is very beneficial during postnatal period. It helps in cleansing the uterus as it has a contractile effect on the uterine muscles.9
Let’s now look at the Kwath (decoction) preparation of Manjistha.
Manjistha kwath is prepared in combination with other herbs and boiled until one fourth is left. Here are some examples.
A powder is prepared by grinding the following herbs together in equal parts: Manjistha, amalaki, haritaki, bibhitaki, kutki,bark of neem,bark of pippali, guduchiand chandan. One part (1 teaspoon) of this powder is then boiled in a cup of water until one fourth part of water remains and then it is strained.
This decoction, if taken regularly for a few days, is beneficial in cases of Vatarakta (Gouty arthritis) and skin diseases. This decoction helps in removing toxins from the blood.9
Various Manjisthadi Kwath preparations are described in the Ayurvedic text Bhaishajya Ratnavali in Kustha rogadhikar (skin diseases chapter). These formulations are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies in India and available widely. They should be taken on the recommendation of an Ayurvedic practitioner only. These Kwath are beneficial in all kinds of Kustha vikar (skin diseases), gouty arthritis, blood disorders, herpes, disorders of the eyes, skin rashes and skin eruptions.10
Now let us look at some benefits of Manjistha tea. These benefits are based on the traditional uses of Manjistha as mentioned in the Ayurvedic materia medica and Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia as well as scientific research findings.
1. For Digestive Health
Manjistha is deepan (kindles the digestive fire), pachan (digestive), stambhan (retentive) and krimighna (deworming) as mentioned in the Ayurvedic materia medica.11
Besides facilitating healthy digestion, its astringent and bitter compound also helps to treat constipation, dysentery and worm infestations.12 Manjistha helps in the digestion of ama (undigested food particles). Because it is guru (heavy) in property and sweet in taste, it soaks up toxins (ama) and neutralizes them. At the same time it has the ability to penetrate into the tissues, bind the toxins together and safely remove them. Its astringent taste makes it styptic, capable of stopping bleeding and so it is helpful in blood dysentery and hemorrhagic disorders like piles (arsha).12
2. For Gynecological Disorders (Yoni roga)12
Manjistha facilitates regular and healthy menstruation. It is also useful for postnatal ailments and excessive abdominal pain or bleeding. It is indicated in Yoni rogas (gynecological diseases) as mentioned in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India.12 In the Ayurvedic materia medica, it is said to increase uterine contractions and induce bleeding in cases of amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. It also relieves pain during dysmenorrhea, and encourages easy flow during the menstrual cycle. It increases uterine contractions and induces menstrual flow. It is also mentioned to be stanya shodhan, meaning it detoxifies breast milk.11
3. For The Skin
Both the external and internal use of Manjistha facilitates the removal of acne13 and evens out the skin tone promoting healthy, glowing skin.14
4. For The Urinary System
In the Indian materia medica Manjistha has been described as Pramehghna (useful in Urinary tract disorders).11 Its diuretic and antimicrobial properties are beneficial for treating urinary tract infections.14
5. It Maintains Normal Blood Circulation And Improves Heart Health
Manjistha regulates blood pressure and the tendency of blood clots to form, thereby helping to maintain normal blood pressure and blood circulation.15
The decoction helps in the regulation of blood pressure while discouraging the narrowing of blood vessels, heart blockage, as well as blood clot formation.2 A cup of this decoction a day would, therefore, ensure good heart health.
READ MORE: Arjuna Milk Decoction: Home Remedy Heart Tonic, Butter And Ghee (High In Vitamin K2) May Lower Risk For Heart Disease
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6. It’s Rejuvenating
By virtue of its antioxidant property, it acts as rejuvenating agent and delays aging. Research shows in vitro antioxidant and anticholinergic activity.16
7. It’s Detoxifying
In Ayurveda, Manjistha is considered to be one of the best cleansing and purifying herbs. Manjistha is known to prove effective in dealing with imbalanced Kapha dosha, which can lead to lethargy, sluggishness, sticky bowel movements, fogginess and more. These issues result from a slow metabolism (agni) and accumulation of toxins. The bitter, astringent nature of Manjistha helps balance the Kapha dosha and by doing so, prevents or eliminates Kapha stagnation. It thereby facilitates the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Thus it is helpful in cases of weight gain due to sleshmaja soth.12
8. It’s An Immunity Booster
It is a potent immunity booster as well. The lymphatic system is responsible for helping the body get rid of all waste, unwanted and toxic matter. Any disruption in its functioning can cause several imbalances in the body leading to a host of health issues. Manjistha tea consumption rules out the aforementioned problem. Although there is no known side effects mentioned, overconsumption is not recommended.
Despite its myriad uses, Manjistha has its side effects as well.
Manjistha should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation. Consuming it can change the color of your urine and stool.
Use this herb cautiously with anticoagulants like Warfarin and Coumadin as Manjistha has anti-platelet action.2
It is important to note that Manjistha may temporarily turn urine color orange or brown.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women is not known. Safety associated with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.
Herbs can heal and nourish if taken in the right quantity, at the right time and according to one’s prakriti (body type). So it is highly recommended to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area and find out whether Manjistha is the right herb for you!
1. K.C. chunekar,Indian Materia Medica/ Bhava prakash Nighantu,(2015),Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi, Pp 107] 2.Tripathi YB, Pandey S, Shukla SD. (1993) Anti-platelet activating factor property of Rubia cordifolia Linn. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 31, 533-535
4. R.K. Sharma, B. Das , Charaka Samhita with english translation(2016),Chaukhambha Sanskrit series, Varanasi, Chapter 4, verse 8, 16, 39] 5. PV..Sharma, Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana with Dalhan’s commentary, english Translation(2013),Chaukhambha Vishwa Bharati,Varanasi, Chapter 38,Pp 362, verse no.47
6. J.L.N.Shastry, dravya guna vigyan vol2, Chaukhambha Orientalia, VARANASI, (2015) PP-277
7. RK Sharma, BhagwanDas, Agnivesha Charaka Samhita Vol 1(Sutra Sthana), with english translation,(2016), Chowkhambha Sanskrit Series, Varanasi,chapter 4,pp-84-85, verse no. 7
8. Brahmanand Tripathi, Sharangdhar Samhita, Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashana, Varanasi, Reprint 2006, Madhyam khanda, 2nd chapter, p 133
9. Chandraraj Bhandari, An encyclopedia of Indian Botanic & herbs Vol 2,Part 8 (2003),Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, pp 10-11
10. S.N.Mishra, Bhaisajya Ratnavali of Kaviraj Govind Das Sen, chaukhambha Surabharati Prakashan, Varanasi,(2016),Chapter 54,pp-866-867
11. P.V. Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol 2 chaukhambha bharati academy, Varanasi,(2005), pp- 801] 12. API, Part 1, Vol-3,Govt. Of India, Ministry of Health & family welfare, Dept. of ISM&H, Serial no.52, PP-112
13. Gorle AM, Patil SS. Evaluation of antioxidant and anti acne property of Rubia cordifolia. Der Pharmacia Sinica. 2010; 1(3): 59-63.
14. Sawhney R, Berry V, Kumar A. Inhibitory activity of Rubia Cordifolia plant extract against ESBL producing urinary E.coli isolates. Journal of Pharmacy Research. 2012; 5(3): 1328-1330.
15. Gilani AH,Janbaz KH,Zaman M,Lateef A,Suria A,Ahmed HR. Possible presence of calcium channel blocker(s) in Rubia cordifolia: an indigenous medicinal plant.J Pak Med Assoc. 1994 Apr;44(4):82-5
16. Patil RA, Gadakh R, Gound H, Kasture SB. Antioxidant and anticholinergic activity of Rubia cordifolia. Pharmacologyonline,2011;2:272-278
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